The Luxury Channel chats to Karolin Troubetzkoy, owner of Jade Mountain in St Lucia, to find out what it takes to create the perfect wedding abroad.
Why do people choose Jade Mountain as a wedding destination?
It was created for the celebration of life and love – there could not be a more scenic location to tie in with these most memorable of occasions!
What are your top tips for organising a destination wedding?
Ask the resort how many weddings a day they arrange, as you don’t want to wait in a queue!
Keep it tropical and work with what is available at your destination location, and don’t try to bring urban design ideas and colour schemes to your beach wedding.
Think practically when you are picking your wedding dress for a tropical wedding. The dress should “breathe” and not make you uncomfortable in hot temperatures. The same goes for the groom and guests.
Take your new wedding rings off when you go snorkelling or scuba diving! Very often, they have not been sized properly and may come off easily before you know it.
How many people would you recommend inviting?
We can host a wedding ceremony on our Celestial Terrace for up to 50 guests. For a wedding dinner celebration at Jade Mountain, we prefer wedding parties to not be larger than 20- 24 guests. The entire concept of Jade Mountain is that of an exclusive oasis. If the wedding party becomes larger, we usually suggest that some of the guests stay at our sister property Anse Chastanet. We would also use one of the restaurants there for the wedding dinner, or one of our 2 beaches there for the actual wedding celebrations.
It is best to hire the entire resort?
Jade Mountain is an ideal (but very pricey) property for resort buy-outs for up to 60 guests. Our minimum stay requirement would be 5 nights.
What should the bride wear? What should she take into consideration when planning a Jade Mountain/Caribbean wedding?
Be creative – Jade Mountain is one of the world’s most unique properties so why not think out of the (bridal) box!
What about guests – how should they pack?
Think light and tropical.
How do weddings in warmer climates differ from traditional English/European weddings?
Aside from the temperatures, brides and grooms usually enjoy the less formal approach with our tropical weddings.
Do you get very different styles of wedding, or do they tend to follow a pattern due to the couple having picked the resort?
We approach every wedding as the unique affair it clearly is. We try not to invoke some pattern but encourage our brides and grooms to share their vision with us, which we then take on board and form our proposal from. We are so fortunate here with a 600 acre estate, two beaches, a plantation with historical ruins from the 18th century, plus of course Jade Mountain with the Celestial Terrace, our yachts, and the nearby waterfalls. You can see the potential for each couple picking their own unique wedding location and celebration.
Do most people inject a little local culture (e.g. food, clothes or music), or do they keep it traditional?
We very much encourage our brides and grooms to have a “local” element, whether it is for the rehearsal or the wedding party itself.
How does the celebration of life and love manifest itself in the essence of Jade Mountain?
You don’t want to come out of your sanctuary…best advice is to send all your guests home after the wedding and enjoy time by yourself!
Is it difficult for the couple, organising a wedding far from their home? How does your team make it as stress-free as possible?
Our wedding team here can make all arrangements and they are very organised. It usually just takes one or two e-mails and a telephone conversation to create a basic outline and we can take it from there. In essence, it is up to the individual couple how much creative control they want to maintain through the process. We always recommend for them to let us do the work, and just focus on the enjoyment of paradise….
Why is St Lucia so associated with romance?
I have always suspected that there must be something special in the air. I am not kidding! Especially as our region, Soufriere, is so blessed with its natural beauty, that this seems to have a mellowing effect on the soul, which in turn perhaps makes you more relaxed and therefore perhaps more receptive to “feelings.” Whatever it is, I am still not immune to it myself!
What other activities could couples do on the island?
I am a great fan of water-based activities, from day sailing, or sunset cruises. Depending on the make-up of the group, some couples take their entire wedding party to go jungle biking in our plantation of Anse Mamin and we also have zip-lining available. There are many possibilities including, of course, snorkelling and swimming right in our Anse Chastanet bay.
Do you have any particularly romantic stories from the resort?
Oh dear, not a day goes by where we don’t have something especially romantic happening! We have baked cakes with hidden proposals, we have arranged underwater wedding proposals, we have created special set-ups in the sanctuaries, on our boats or the Celestial Terrace for such proposals.
What makes the perfect wedding in the Caribbean?
Sunshine helps! And we all want that perfect sunset on your wedding day but some things we simply cannot promise. In the end, it has to be being in a spectacular location with those around you that you love.
Thinking ahead, what would be the perfect Caribbean honeymoon?
To be in a spectacular location with the one you love and have a great service team available whenever you want.